Cheap LED strip lights give coder’s MacBook rig a moody vibe [Setups]


Two cheap LED lights strips create that whole effect, and with many light strips the colors can change endlessly.
Two cheap LED lights strips create that whole effect, and with many light strips the colors can change endlessly.

Deliberate lighting choices, especially those featuring vibrant colors, can do a lot for a computer setup. They can improve mood and vision, and they can even give humdrum gear in a boring room a dazzling look and feel.

Today’s featured MacBook Pro setup belongs to a coder in Panama who used some basic, cheap LED strip lights to transform his workstation into a light show — to the delight of viewers on social media.

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Coder’s MacBook Pro setup wows social media with cheap LED light strips

Redditor Xtraipel (“X”) showcased the deeply colorful setup in a post entitled, “Current Setup.”

Personally, I might find the setup’s bright colors in play a little distracting for doing work, but there’s no denying they dress things up considerably. I recently picked up a new standing desk with built-in lights, but all they do is throw a little warm white light on the desktop. Boring.

Dual, stacked displays plus MacBook Pro screen

X runs a MacBook Pro mounted on a laptop tray on the same arm as his two stacked monitors, possibly 1080p screens judging by the comment that follows — 27 inches on top and 24 inches below. So that makes three screens, including the laptop’s.

X described his usage:

Main monitor is just for coding and reading, the small one in the bottom is for YouTube or Spotify, that kind of secondary task, and the MacBook screen is for checking results and seeing products on Live. So even the screen quality and resolutions are way too different … with some tweaks you can achieve a color matching and good results

At the left corner of the desk, another mount holds much less, just a pair of SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 gaming headphones. X said they’re Xbox Edition.

And with all that mounted gear, the desktop itself is uncrowded. It features a good-looking NuPhy Air 75 mechanical keyboard and the extremely popular Logitech MX Master 3S wireless mouse.

‘What are you using for lighting?’

The setup got several comments and one main question: “What are you using for lighting?”

“I’m using two Chinese LED strips, one behind the monitor one behind the desk, one in purple [and] one [in] green for that mix to match the wallpaper,” X replied. He described them as purchases locally in Panama in unbranded white boxes.

And speaking of the wallpaper, X said: “Stock Sonoma wallpaper but on dynamic. Giving that cool effect.”

Note that you don’t have to spend much for smart light strips, including some that support 16 million colors. So you can change up your light show daily.

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If you would like to see your setup featured on Cult of Mac, send some high-res pictures to Please provide a detailed list of your equipment. Tell us what you like or dislike about your setup, and fill us in on any special touches, challenges and plans for new additions.

Tenmiro LED Lights

LED RGB lights of 100 feet in length -- two 50-foot rolls -- feature changing colors and music syncing. Includes remote and app control.

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02/24/2024 12:57 am GMT


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